3 Best Petrol Lawnmowers For Large Gardens
Having a large garden is very rewarding especially when everything is in full bloom and the grass is nicely cut.
But which is the best lawnmower for cutting a large lawn?
There are some really fantastic choices available and in this article I’m going to discuss which features, cutting sizes and accessories would be advisable and help you make an informed choice when purchasing a new gas/petrol lawnmower for cutting large areas.
Please note when I refer to gas lawnmower it means petrol/gas lawnmower (the same thing).
For cutting a large area, quality and reliability are essential.
If you already own a quality lawnmower you may want to think about repairing it if it’s suddenly stopped working.
Repair Or Replace A Petrol Lawnmower?
This website is all about lawnmower repair and advice.
Sometimes it may not be cost-effective to repair your current lawnmower, for example, if the self-drive on your current lawnmower has stopped working or the cutting deck has become rotten.
In fact, these would be some of the only reasons I would choose to replace rather than repair.
If a lawnmower simply won’t start it can often be one of the most inexpensive repairs.
In this case, I would highly recommend taking it for a service or following some of the many videos on my youtube channel. https://www.youtube.com/c/MowerMan
If you have a very large area to cut you could consider purchasing a ride-on lawnmower.
Some ride-on lawnmowers really aren’t as large as you think so if you are looking to considerably cut down on mowing time this could be the right option for you.
Take a look at this Troy-Bilt 382cc 30-Inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower
This small ride-on lawnmower has a 30-inch cutting width and I was pleasantly surprised by just how small it was to store when I looked at the product images. It also has an 18-inch turning radius.
These little ride-on mowers are great fun and this one runs at just over 4 mph. Think Forrest Gump and you get the idea!
I thought I would include this information as it’s quite incredible just how small ride-on lawnmowers can be and maybe it’s an option you hadn’t previously considered.
For a large lawn, I would suggest a cutting width of no less than 21 inches (53.34cm) for reference this is 9 inches smaller than the ride-on lawnmower previously mentioned.
With a cutting width any smaller than 21 inches it will take a long time to get the grass cut and one important factor is the longer it takes the more work the engine and transmission have to do.
I will discuss transmissions and gearboxes later!
Generally, larger cutting width lawnmowers come with more powerful engines and higher quality transmissions plus there are other features you may not know about that can make cutting a large area of grass much easier.
Box, Bag, Mulch Or Side Discharge?
There are many trimming options available on modern lawnmowers.
Did you know it’s possible to cut the grass and not collect it into a grass bag or box?
This process is called mulching and it’s actually very good for your grass.
Having a lawnmower with a mulching function means the grass is cut into much smaller particles then simply and almost as if by magic blown down and bedded back into the grass.
It’s quite incredible what a great result you can get from mulching and it saves having to continually empty the grass bag and restart the lawnmower.
This is a great option for saving time. I have used a mulching lawnmower on many occasions with excellent results.
Many lawnmowers have a mulching option and the option to also collect cuttings into a grass box. It is easy to switch between the two options on the same lawnmower.
Another option for cutting large areas without collecting the trimmings into a grass box is to side discharge.
Instead of the cut grass being mulched (chopped into tiny pieces), you can choose to side discharge it.
This is a good option if you are cutting well away from patio areas or well-kept flowerbeds as side discharging tends to spread the cuttings a good distance from the lawnmower itself!
This may be the perfect option for you depending on your needs. You can of course, choose to collect into a grass bag even if the lawnmower has a side discharge port. It’s very simple to change between the two options on the same lawnmower.
Grass Box Collecting
This is of course what many people consider to be the standard option. If this is the option you like then be sure to choose a lawnmower with a large grass bag to eliminate having to stop and empty it too often.
Did you know some modern lawnmowers feature a roto-stop safety brake which keeps the engine running but stops the blade turning? This is a great feature on a large lawnmower as it saves having to restart the lawnmower each time after emptying the grass box.
Roto-Stop Blade Brakes
Stopping and restarting a lawnmower each time you need to empty the grass box can be very time consuming and frustrating when trying to cut large areas.
This is where a roto stop blade braking system is a great idea and an excellent feature on a large cutting width gas lawnmower.
This feature keeps the engine running even at low speed and stops the blades from turning. This of course, means you can empty the grass bag re-attach it and carry on mowing without the need to restart the engine.
Not only does a roto-stop blade brake save time it also saves the starter recoil mechanism from wearing out more quickly.
Electric Start Lawnmowers
Lawnmowers that are fitted with an electric key start can be a good option if the valves on a lawnmower are set correctly and you have no other startup issues.
If you purchase a lawnmower for cutting a large area then having an electric start saves having to pull the recoil rope each time you empty the grass box.
The downside to this is you will need to make sure the battery is in good condition and holds a good charge.
If the battery or electric start fails you can always rely on the pull start mechanism. Unfortunately many electric start lawnmowers I have repaired often have a broken pull cord as well.
I believe this happens as when the electric start fails it’s usually down to needing the valves correctly set to ensure the lawnmower starts using the electric start.
I believe the pull cord mechanisms get poorly treated as they are only used when starting issues occur.
If I had a choice between a roto-stop blade braking system and an electric start I would choose the blade brake, however, both would be excellent.
Self Propel Drives
If you are cutting a large area then a self-drive lawnmower is essential.
Choosing a lawnmower with a high-quality reliable transmission is never easy, and as discussed at the beginning of this article is one of the most expensive repairs.
There can be no substitute for quality when it comes to purchasing a new large petrol lawnmower with a self-drive.
Here’s a video from my Youtube channel on self-drive repairs
Please subscribe to the channel here https://www.youtube.com/c/MowerMan
Many people love to see the lovely effect of striped grass after cutting. This can only be achieved by the use of a heavy rear roller.
When purchasing a new lawnmower one thing to bear in mind is how much work the self-drive transmission/ gearbox has to do. This is amplified massively when a rear roller is fitted to a lawnmower with a self-drive.
Most of the lawnmowers I see at auction that have a self-drive that failed also have a rear roller on.
I would advise against a large lawnmower with a rear roller fitted wherever possible. It will be incredibly difficult to push when the self-drive fails and the rear roller will lock when attempting to manoeuvre or reverse the lawnmower.
With any self-driven petrol lawnmower, I would check the warranty on the self-drive and also price up the cost of repairs if it fails.
Engine power is important when purchasing a large cutting width lawnmower.
The last thing you want on a large lawnmower is an underpowered engine. 4.5 hp will be sufficient for a lawnmower with a 21-inch cut, especially on a modern lawnmower engine.
Don’t be fooled by engine size. Size doesn’t always equal power so be sure to check out the actual power output of the engine.
Briggs And Stratton Toro and Honda provide excellent engines that are designed to stand up to the demands of a large mower and are world renowned for reliability.
Auto Wash Deck Feature
Keeping the cutting deck of a lawnmower in good condition is a high priority when using a large gas lawnmower.
This John Deere R43S Petrol Lawnmower model is an example of that and is an all round excellent lawnmower.
If you regularly maintain a standard lawnmower cutting deck it will last for many years to come.
One way to easily take care of a cutting deck is to look for a lawnmower with an automatic deck wash feature.
What Is An Auto Deck Wash Feature?
An auto deck wash feature on a lawnmower is an attachment point on top of the lawnmower cutting deck where a hosepipe can easily be attached to.
This feature offers easy cleaning of the underside of a lawnmower cutting deck to help preserve it from rot and increase the longevity of its life.
To use this feature simply attach the hose pipe and turn on the water. Next, start the lawnmower in the usual way and it will self-clean any remaining grass from the underside of the cutting deck.
I really like this feature as it not only saves the cutting deck from rotting but also eliminates the need to tip the lawnmower on its side.
If storage space is a priority look for lawnmowers that have quick stow storage handles. Some modern lawnmowers have great systems including quick release handles and even the option to store the lawnmower by hanging it vertically!
Take a look to see which storage options are available when purchasing. There are a lot of different options available that can save a lot of space.
Wheel Size And Structure
Whilst this may sound like a fairly obvious point it is essential to look at the wheel sizes on a gas lawnmower.
A high-quality lawnmower with a large cutting width needs a good size wheel and excellent tread depth.
I prefer larger wheels at the back and wheels with rubber tread.
The Honda Izy HRG536SD 21-inch Wheeled Self Propelled Petrol Lawnmower lawnmower is a great example of a quality wheel and I have used this example in many of my articles.
This would also make an excellent choice for a large garden.
The Honda IZY is one of the nicest lawnmowers to push with or without a self-drive. If you look for a similar design when purchasing you won’t go far wrong.
Beware of all plastic wheels with shallow tread, they soon wear and become useless when attempting to cut wet grass.
For more information on cutting wet grass check out my article. https://repairlawnmowersforprofit.com/how-to-cut-wet-grass-and-the-best-petrol-lawnmowers-to-do-it-with/
From time to time it’s impossible to avoid cutting slightly damp or wet grass. The above article should help with this, nevertheless one of the most crucial factors for cutting large areas or wet grass is chute size.
The chute on a lawnmower is the hole the cut grass has to first pass through to enter the grass bag.
Look for a good sized chute and it will help with cutting grass in all conditions.
To check the chute size simply remove the grass box and lift up the grass box deflector. Anything larger than the size of your hand is a good choice.
Integrated Blower Fans
Certain lawnmowers have an integrated blower fan installed to help assist the cut grass transfer to the grass box.
This helps massively particularly on a large lawnmower where the circumference of cut is wider especially when cutting in damp or wet conditions.
This John Deere R43S Petrol Lawnmower is a good example of this so if you are limited on time to cut the grass and forced into cutting in all conditions having an integrated blower fan would be a great feature.
Swing Away Blades
Swing away blades may be required if you regularly cut a large area with drain covers or tree stumps.
The idea of swing away blades is to swing away if a hard object is struck by the blade.
Swings blades are usually 4 smaller sections of blade. This design removes the need to replace the blade adapter if you strike a hard object.
The ultimate feature of using swing away blades is to protect the crankshaft from damage when a hard object is struck.
Variable Speed Self Drives
Having a variable speed self-drive is a nice feature to have as not everybody can keep up with the speed of a self-drive lawnmower.
Some models have various speed transmissions so if this is important to you keep an eye out on the product description to see if this is an option.
My Personal Choices For USA And European Market
I have serviced and repaired many makes and models over the years so when it comes to making recommendations I like to only recommend particular lawnmowers if they meet (most) if not all of my requirements.
There are some fantastic lawnmowers for sale on both the Europen and USA markets.
My personal choice after much consideration for the USA market would be:
TORO 21In OHV Super Recycler Mower with Personal Pace and Blade Brake Model 20383
This ticks nearly all the boxes for me and TORO are very well respected providers of quality lawnmowers with excellent support and service departments.
This lawnmower features many of the features listed above and has a 21inch cutting width.
It also features a roto-stop blade brake system and has various trimming options including mulch, side discharge or box.
It also has a variable speed self-drive and an under deck wash system even though it already boasts an aluminium cutting deck.
Take a look at this lawnmower and the quality very quickly becomes apparent.
This lawnmower has a 5-year full coverage warranty and any TORO repair will be free. This is outstanding customer service and goes a long way to provide peace of mind when purchasing.
It has many great features take a look for your self at the product description.
UK And European Personal Choice.
Quality simply can’t be ignored and that’s why this Honda HRX537HY 21-inch Wheeled Hydrostatic Petrol Lawnmower would be my choice if you are in the UK or Europe.
Having worked on many Honda petrol lawnmowers I can vouch for Hondas excellent build quality and reliable features.
This lawnmower has a 21-inch cutting width and features a roto-stop blade braking system. It also has an 88-litre grass bag and a 7-year warranty.
It also features Hondas intuitive versamow system that offers quick and easy changeover from mulching to standard cutting.
Honda lawnmowers are very well built and I believe this lawnmower will stand the test of time especially with its Xenoy cutting deck that can’t rust. These decks are excellent quality.
Honda engines are extremely reliable and quiet in operation.
One Final Choice
This John Deere R54VE 54cm wide Lawnmower makes it into my top three choices.
Apart from being a fantastic lawnmower with many excellent features it also a massive 15-year warranty on the cutting deck, a variable speed self-drive and integrated blower to help box up grass in any conditions.
It also features a key start.
Purchasing a large petrol lawnmower should be an informed choice.
I hope this article has at least given some insight as to what is available on a large cut lawnmower.
Quality and warranty would be my deciding factor when purchasing a large lawnmower.
I have written an article on which petrol lawnmower may last a lifetime and when purchasing a large lawnmower you really do want it to last a very long time.
You can read the article here. https://repairlawnmowersforprofit.com/8-best-walk-behind-petrol-lawnmowers-that-could-last-a-lifetime/
Whichever lawnmower you do decide to purchase I hope this article has offered a useful insight and helpful advice to make an informed purchase.
Take a look at the recommended products page for further information and advice.